How Donald Trump emboldens bigots across the world

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

The fact that a Hindu nationalist group is praying for Trump seems strange until you realize that far-right factions across the world gain strength from his success

If there were a United Nations of the global far right, Donald Trump would be its undisputed leader. His message does not just resonate in the forlorn rust-belt towns of rural America: it travels far beyond the country’s shores. It is bigotry without borders.

Consider the incredible prayer session organized for him in New Delhi by a nationalist Hindu group last week. Amid prayer bells, incense and chanting, good wishes fluttered from the Indian capital all the way to the US. A poster made for the occasion declared Trump to be the “hope for humanity”.

Despite his unwavering “America First” nationalism, Trump’s message has struck a chord with the Hindu right because they share a common enemy. Long at odds with religious minorities in the country, it is no surprise that some Hindu nationalists approve of Trump’s plan to ban Muslim immigration to the United States. “He’s the only man who can put an end to Islamic terrorism”, said Hindu Sena chief Vishnu Gupta. “He is the savior of mankind.”

They are not the only ones to hold Trump in high esteem. The far-right Greek Golden Dawn party support him. The founder of France’s Front National, Jean-Marie Le Pen, said he would vote for him. The Dutch leader of the Party of Freedom and anti-Islam campaigner, Geert Wilders, now tweets things like “Make The Netherlands Great Again!”. Meanwhile the head of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, says he considers Trump “heroic” and added “we are on the same wavelength when it comes to many things”.

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